Novak, and the Adria Tour fulfilling demand for live tennis

AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

Novak, and the Adria Tour fulfilling demand for live tennis

It’s almost surreal to see how well the Adria Tour has done to bring some high-level names to Belgrade to compete in the Eastern European Championships. Hats off to organizers Yanko Tipseraveic and the Serbian Tennis Association. Of course, they would not have been as successful if not for the advocacy and relationships of Novak Djokovic, who has also been a one-man welcoming committee as top names land in Belgrade. For those of us that follow him on Instagram, we’ve been treated to a plethora of Novak meeting top players like Dimitrov, Thiem and Zverev at the airport, followed by pictures of all these guys living it up on the streets of Belgrade and other tournament related events

All these scenes would be absolutely the normal if not for the fact that we’re in the middle if a huge pandemic. No worries in Serbia though, they claim that they have the pandemic totally under control and they may very well be right. Serbia has been largely spared in this world crisis with approximately 12,175 cases and 250 deaths as of June 12th.

With these kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder they carry themselves with confidence. It’s not all about showing the world that tennis can be opened back up though. There’s something else here at play, and the ATP and the Grand Slams should take notice. While the US Open gripes about its guidelines for holding the tournament, many top players are shunning those restrictions. The most controversial being the need to quarantine for two weeks on arrival and limiting the entourage to just one person at the US Open. Players such as Djokovic, Federer and Williams have stated that this simply does not work for them because they need their families, physios, coaches etc. While these big tournaments sweat these details, there’s a very real possibility that the US Open will not be held.

Enter the Adria Tour, who has impressed not only with the ability to bring in big stars, but also its quick organization. One can’t help but think that there’s an existential threat to the current ATP tour if they can’t get their tour up and running, and I bet the Adria Tour is more than willing to pick up the pieces.

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